Life can be challenging…especially when you’re dealing with light bladder leakage. After an embarrassing LBL moment, it takes courage to put yourself out there again. Have you ever talked yourself out of doing something you used to enjoy, for fear of a possible leak?
We women can scare ourselves by imagining worst-case scenarios. Luckily, it’s possible to override resistance and stay active by using affirmations. An affirmation is a simple, yet powerful statement you can say to yourself before, during or after a leak. It’s designed to replace self-sabotaging thoughts that limit you, with positive ways of thinking to help keep you active and engaged in life.
Thoughts are powerful. Whether they’re good ones or bad ones — your physical body doesn’t know the difference. Stressful thoughts create stress in the body, and that alone can cause LBL to worsen. Affirmations help you experience thoughts that can build both your confidence level and a sense of ease so you can handle whatever challenges come your way.
To use affirmations effectively follow these three steps:
Step 1: Create your affirmations. Start by asking yourself questions like:
• “How do I want to feel?”
• “How can I encourage myself to go out when I’m tempted to stay home and hide?”
• “What’s a better way I could handle leaks at the gym, at work, or out with my friends?”
• “Who will I choose as a role model for being confident, authentic, and self-assured under pressure?”
Use your imagination to create positive ways of managing LBL. Then, capture those thoughts to form your affirmations.
Step 2: Write them down. Write your affirmations in the positive. Instead of, “I don’t judge myself harshly.” Rewrite it as, “I’m kind to myself.” Your mind thinks in images. For example, when you hear, “Don’t run,” your brain creates an image of running first. You get a different, more useful image in your mind when you hear the word, “Walk.” Write your affirmations on 3 x 5 cards to carry in your purse, copy them into your calendar, or even place post-it notes on your bathroom mirror. You could also record your affirmations and play it on your computer, or from your smart phone. The key is to write your affirmations down, and review them regularly.
Step 3: Say your affirmations daily. When you repeat a thought over and over, it becomes your new way of thinking. Make a habit of saying your affirmations throughout the day. Memorize them. Then, systematically replace each negative thought you think with an affirming thought that support you. Suppose you catch yourself thinking, “I would just die if someone noticed a wet spot on my yoga pants…I’m skipping the gym.” Replace it with the affirmation, “I can handle anything that comes my way,” or “I’m bigger than my problems.” Does that feel like a stretch? Consider this quote by Bob Mowad, “Habits – first you form them, then they form you.”
To get started, here’s a list of 25 affirmations you can use:
• “I’m good at calming myself.”
• “I’m a solution finder.”
• “I enjoy what pelvic floor exercises do for me.”
• “Everything is going to be okay.”
• “LBL makes me a more compassionate person.”
• “Everything happens for my highest good.”
• “Feeling grateful for my body helps me take better care of it.”
• “I wonder what good things will come from this.”
• “Increasing my knowledge about LBL will lower my fear.”
• “I know how to prepare so that I’m ready for anything.”
• “I can pick a role model with the qualities I need right now.”
• “It’s freeing to be transparent.”
• “I focus on solutions, improvements and lessons learned.”
• “The judgment I care most about is my own.”
• “I approach challenges with confidence and ease.”
• “Breath in, breath out, repeat.”
• “One in three women experience LBL, so I’m in good company.”
• "I love and accept myself, leaks and all."
• “There’s an opportunity here. I just need to discover what it is.”
• “I can want to be leak-free without being disappointed about not having it yet.”
• “I have feelings, and I am not my feelings.”
• “I say ‘yes’ to doing the things I love to do.”
• “I treat myself as good as I treat my friends.”
• “What other people might think is none of my business.”
• “I invite peace into my mind and body.”
What about you? Are there any affirmations that you find helpful?